Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Muses

Gaudy, gregarious girls
gyrate, dance in my dreams,
a gang of gelatin cubes unleashed

from their molds. I welcome
their movements towards me.
They call my name. They sing songs,

silver syllables half-spoken, half-sung,
verses and choruses full of verve
and vigor. They motion me to join them,

share in their soaring stanzas, but I
just stand in awe of the spectacle,
pull my blankets tight around me.

I’ve no fear of their fervor, but of my own
feelings, my own wont and will to follow
them back to the dark from which they came.

Little Going On.

I don't have a lot to say today.

I slept well last night, except that I woke up hungry at 4:00 AM. I got up, had a bowl of raisin bran and went back to bed. I fell right to sleep, and that's without the pills.

My doctor's appointment went well. I go for my endoscopy on the 23rd. They are going to do both an upper and a lower. Now I just have to find someone to take me. They knock you out, so you can't drive afterwards. The prep has changed since the last time I had to have one of these things. No more enemas. You just have to stick to a liquid diet the day before, and eat a bunch of Dulcolax the afternoon before.

I had to take one of my employees to the doctor's this afternoon. He was cutting a crate open and was cutting towards himself instead of away from himself. The box knife slipped on some banding and went right up his forearm. And he had just put a new blade in the knife, too. He had to have ten stitches. Live and learn, as they say.

There is not much else happening here. I'm just counting down the hours and days until Friday night, hoping that my work nights go quickly and quietly.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Feel Stupid

Can someone please tell me what the phrase "squid for duck" means? Am I out of it, or what?

Can I Title This "Weekend Update" Without Getting Sued?

The weekend was good. I slept in on Friday, then got up and went fishing. I didn't catch anything, but I had a good time being outdoors anyway. It was nice and warm, so I saw a lot of 2-3 year old bass and pickerel cruising the surface of the pond, which is encouraging. The launch party/poetry reading Friday night went really well in every way. We had a decent crowd- standing room only. Everyone read very well, and the after party was fun.

Saturday I got up late- around 2:00 PM. I don't know why I was so tired. I spent most of the day on music things. I practiced my guitar. I worked on a music project with Billy Boy, re-recording one of my tunes on his equipment. The results were more than satisfactory. Then I worked on transferring some of my old four track recordings to digital on the computer. I made dinner for Bill and I- spaghetti with marinara sauce and shrimp. It came out pretty delicious, even if I say so myself.

Sunday I cleaned the house and cleaned my car out. I worked on the music project some more. Later I went to the ex's to have dinner with her and the kids. It was so nice outside that we sat out on her deck. Then suddenly a thunderstorm blew up, lots of thunder, heavy rain, lightening, and for several minutes, pea-sized hail fell. The first spring storm of the year- I enjoyed it. It was all over in less than ten minutes, then it got nice again, except for the air felt a bit cooler. I came home after that, paid my bills and talked to my parents on the phone.

I went to bed around 10:30 last night, slept pretty well, as I did all weekend, and woke up this morning at 7:45, which is ridiculously early for me. I made good use of the time. I picked up medicine at the vet's for Cortez. I got gas in the car. I did some banking, and went to the grocery store. I'm not used to all that activity that early. After I got home and put the groceries away I sat on the couch and promptly fell asleep. I woke up in time to get ready for work.

Work tonight is pretty hectic. My horoscope said the pace of the day would be pretty quick, and it has been. I hope that the week goes by quickly. I am excited about getting home to see my family. I am leaving shortly after work on Friday. That will put me there around 10:30 in the morning, and I will miss most all of the traffic. But, I'm jumping ahead. I have to get through the work week first. Tomorrow is my consultation with the new doctor on my up coming colonoscopy. I'm really looking forward to that.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Camper

"When the going gets tough and you've lost all your dreams, there's nothing like a camp fire and a can of beans." - Tom Waits

I just love camping. I've been thinking all night about camping. I am already planning to go sometime in May with some friends down in the Pine Barrens. I may try to go next month too, if the weather warms up a bit more. My sleeping bag is only rated to 45 degrees and I don't want to freeze my ass off. There is just something about sleeping outdoors in the fresh air in front of a crackling fire that is envigorating to me. I'll probably dream about it tonight.

Good night, everyone. Sleep well.

The Real Thursday

It is a gloomy day today. It has been drizzling all day. It is supposed to stop tomorrow morning. I hope it actually does because I would like to get some fishing in tomorrow. Well, I guess if it's still drizzling it would give me a chance to try out the camo rain gear I got for Christmas.

I would love to fish for trout right now, but the local trout lake is closed for stocking. It won't be open again until something like April 11th. I'll still be in Ohio then, so I'll miss opening day. That's usually a big day for me and a lot of other people in my area.

A lot of people I have talked to today are saying that the weather today is making them feel blue. Not me. I feel pretty good today. I got some decent rest last night, so I'm alright.

I'm looking very forward to the release party for the new poetry journal tomorrow night. I always enjoy being with my friends and I'll probably see some aquaintances whom I haven't seen in a while. The after party is always good, too. Dunleavey's is a decent place to drink and eat. I've noticed though, that with the economy the way it is, it does not get as crowded on the weekends as it used to get. That's a shame.

A bit of news: I had posted a few days ago about the family that lost their home and had to give up their two labradors. I was very pleased to hear that they found a home, together. They are going to some decent, caring people and will not have to be split up. That makes me feel good.

More later...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Thursday

Today is my Thursday since I am off on Friday. That's a good thing.

My dentist appointment went alright this morning. My teeth and gums are in great shape. The dentist was actually amazed that the health of my gums had gotten better in the last six months. Apparently that is very difficult for someone with diabetes to do. I don't now what I did, but the doctor wants me to keep doing it.

Billy Boy should be getting back to the house right about now. The dogs will be glad to see him, especially little Bosco, who seems so attached to him. It will be good to have him back in the house.

Work continues to be very busy this week, which is a good thing. Even though vehicle sales are down, parts sales and service are up, so we are making money there. It's our saving grace right now.

We are having company at work the next two days. The managers and a supervisor from the Baltimore facility are coming here to observe our operations. They will probably also be making some recommendations on ways we can change our operations to make things easier for them. Nice.

The weather is still decent here. My day lillies and surprise lillies are up out of the ground by several inches now. They are growing fast. Soon it will be time to plant the veggie garden. I'm contemplating planting the whole thing with sweet corn this year. It's about a 25'X25' plot. I could get a few ears out of it.

This weekend I plan on more fishing, and maybe hiking again, too. I will also be working on my music some, as I have a couple of ideas floating around in my brain. I will not be cleaning the house, as I did a pretty good job of it this weekend, and I did re-mop and vac the floors this morning.

Well, time to read some blogs...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Racing Thoughts

This bee in my brain buzzes around,
bangs into the walls of my skull
like a bird bangs repeatedly into a window.

The thoughts throb in rhythm
with the pulsating of my arteries
like a thrombus in my temple vein

that threatens to break lose and swim
towards the bell of the cerebellum
to cause havoc at the brain stem.

Lightning in the cortex sparks synapses,
signals pass between gaps, tiny spark plugs
of a million, million swimming brain cells.

Ideas flit like a magician’s pocket hanky,
around and around in circulation like blood
through tiny webs of fibrous vessels.

This is my head, my jar, my hive of wax combs,
my beautiful Venus, pitcher plant trap. It hides
in an underworld of the dark, in the deep night

away from the knife stares of peering eyeballs,
away from the silvery glint of sterile scalpels,
away from the open hemorrhage of mouths.

Is It Friday Yet?

I'm ready for the weekend already. Nothing bad has happened, I'm just ready for the weekend kind of early. And I have Friday off work for the launch party for the poetry group's new journal, so it's a short week for me.

April will be here soon, and it is National Poetry Month. I will be taking part in the popular and gruelling activity of writing a poem a day for the month. This will not be easy for two reasons. One is my week vacation in Ohio the second week of the month. I will be pretty busy with family things. The second is the matter of having the necessary inspiration. What do you write about when you don't know what to write about? For me, when I don't know what to write about I typically write about the act or the art of writing. I probably have a dozen poems about writing already, so that's out. I'll come up with something. Maybe I'll work around a theme.That's still a tall order, to pick a topic and write thirty different poems about it.

Speaking of poetry, Jennicki has a new blog, a poetry blog. It's http://JensPoesy@blogspot.com. She writes well. Go check it out if you have the inclination to read some decent poetry.

I don't remember if I posted about this before, but I have to have a colonoscopy. Fun, fun. I'm really looking forward to it. I go for the consultation appointment next Tuesday. I haven't had one in ten years or so. That's how much I like them. My kidney doctor says that my blood tests keep showing that I am anemic, which could be a symptom of polyps. I need to rule that out, as my mother has a history of colon polyps, and my grandmother died of colon cancer. So, it's nothing to mess around about. I have to bite the bullet and get it done. I don't mind the procedure so much as I do the night-before prep. You can imagine. I won't spell it out.

Tomorrow I go for my six-month teeth cleaning. I'm thrilled about that one, too. I just love going to the dentist. That goes back to my childhood. In junior high school days we had a family dentist who did not believe in using novacane. I had several big cavaties filled like that. Ouch, baby. Very ouch.

More later...

Monday, March 23, 2009


Why did Blogger post just the title of my last entry four times? I don't know. I'm just glad the evening at work is over with. I have the rare (for me) headache. And it's even been a slow night. Well, I hope that everyone has a good evening. More tomorrow...

Yay, and Boo!

First for the "Yay" part of the post- I had a great weekend. Friday night I slept like a baby. Saturday I got up sort of early. I started cleaning up the house. Then I went out back pack shopping. I ended up at L.L. Bean, which is where I got the pack from. I got a real nice one for only $50, and they gave me a gift certificate for $10. On the way home I treated myself to a Chick Fila (SP?) meal. After I got home I finished cleaning the house. After that I watched TV while tying some fishing flies. I also watched my DVD of No Country For Old Men. I love that movie. I also got my income tax refund check- $1,663 big ones! Saturday night I slept like a baby.

I got up early in Sunday and went hiking in the Pine Barrens. True to it's name I saw no signs of wildlife while hiking, except for some flies. It was beautiful and quiet and serene, though. It was sunny and reasonably warm so after hiking I stayed there and had lunch in the picnic area by the pond. For lunch I had beef jerkey, a banana, an apple and iced tea. After that I went and got my fishing license and trout stamp, and bought a new reel for my worm flipping rod. I went and fished for a bit, then went to have dinner with the kids at the ex's. Dinner and the conversation was good. After that I went home and tied more flies and talked to my parents on the phone for an hour. I didn't sleep too well because I got sick in the middle of the night. I suspect the culprit was a spaghetti TV dinner that I ate before bed.

Now for the "Boo" part of the post- One of my employees came to me this afternoon and asked me for the name and number of my psychatrist. Now, I told no one at work about my bipolar disorder except for my bosses. I didn't want anyone to know, especially not the employees, and for good reason. It's obvious that someone spilled the beans. One of them probably told the department secretary, who just can't keep her mouth shut. I am very unhappy about this. With all the stigma and misconceptions attached to mental illness, this is not a good thing for me. There is nothing I can do about it now, except wonder how far that story has spread and what the actual story is. I feel angry, betrayed and helpless. Grrr.

Yay, and Boo!

Yay, and Boo!

Yay, and Boo!

Yay, and Boo!

Yay, and Boo!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Home, Home, Where I Wanted To Go

What is it about the Coldplay song Clocks that gets to me? Ever since the first time I heard it, it has put the chicken skin on me. Goosebumps, that is. There is just nothing else like it to these ears. It makes me feel a certain way that I can't describe.

Work sucks tonight. It is painfully obvious that no one is really interested in being here tonight. The work is just not getting done like it could and should be. People are trying to take advantage of the fact that I am running two departments tonight. I have been breaking up little groups of people from talking and goofing off all night. It's exhausting. I really, really hate having to babysit. It's not what I get paid for doing. Now, I'm more than ready to get the hell out of here, but I know that I have a job to do, and I get paid to do it until 11:30 PM.

Well, break is over. Back to it. Everyone have a good night.

Friday By The Numbers

1. First of all, Happy Spring, everyone! It tried to snow flurry on my way to work today but I wouldn't have any of it. The sun is shining now and it's fairly warm. HA!

2. Phone sales people who solicite supplies, training products and the like to corporate offices and businesses are the worst. What about the sentence, "I'm not authorized to make purchases" is so hard to understand?

3. I got up late for work again this morning. I can sure be a lazy bastard sometimes, but I do enjoy it.

4. I got a message from Billy Boy this afternoon saying that he will be home on Wednseday. It will be good to have him around again.

5. It's another slow Friday at work. The hands on the clock will just crawl like a slow death tonight, I'm sure.

6. Tomorrow it's back pack shopping and house cleaning. Sunday, hiking in the Pine Barrens if the weather is not rainy, and dinner with the kids. I'll probably hit the gym both days.

7. I forgot to mention yesterday that on my way to work, on a narrow country road, I almost hit the strangest looking bird I have ever seen. It was huge, bigger than a wild turkey or buzzard, it's feathers were an off-white and very ruffled, and it had a bare, yellow colored head. Feral domestic turkey? Albino turkey buzzard? I don't know. I can't seem to find it in the bird field guide, either. I looked for it today on my way in and did not see it again. Strange.

8. I simply cannot hear the Steeler's Wheel song Stuck In The Middle With You without thinking of that violent Michael Madsen scene in Reservoir Dogs. Chilling.

9. Why do people not take the time to do things right, or not do the right thing, just because it's Friday? I don't get that. Why be a gonad?

10. Everyone have a decent weekend. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Tomorrow is the vernal equinox, i.e. the first day of spring. It's about time, too. Thanks, Xanadu for reminding me. I have been so waiting for this. And the weather has been gradually getting nicer the last couple of weeks. It's still bareable out right now tonight. It hasn't cooled off very much. Yesterday I down-graded from my leather coat to my black velvet jacket. I can only hope that we don't get hit with one of those freak Easter snow storms here in a few weeks. Especially since I'll be on spring vacation in Ohio then with any kind of luck at all.

I'm more than ready for this trip. The day I get there is my great niece's first birthday party, which will be a big catered affair, and the fun just rolls on from there. The only bad part is that I have to leave on Easter. I could not get the Monday after off, as one of my cohorts already has it booked. I'm thinking of taking my bike with me so that I can go riding with my parents. I'm not sure if I should try to use my ancient bike carrier on the car, or if I should try to stuff the bike inside. It would be a very tight squeeze, I think.

Tomorrow is also Friday, for which I am grateful. It's been a very trying day today, and a very busy night this evening. I'm ready to get out of here (work) now. I'm really hoping that I can get some sleep tonight, specifically a whole night's worth.

Well, have a good night, everyone. "Talk" to you all tomorrow.

Thursday Stuff

Well, last night the sleep problems raised their ugly head. At 4:00 AM I got out of bed and ate a bowl of cereal. Then I sat in the bed and played on the lap top. I wrote two poems, revised another, then played a game of majong. I scored a 230. Excellent! Then I finally fell asleep. I woke up late for work. I never knew I could get ready and out the door so fast. I still made it here on time. I am so surprised, especially since it was raining and people were driving like a bunch of grannies.

I spent some time last night on line shopping for back packs, and I'm all psyched about it and hiking now. I think I will be making a trip to REI on Saturday. I should have my income tax refund money by then. You wouldn't believe how hard it is do find a decent back pack that is made in this country. Most are now made in China or Viet Nam.

This afternoon I am starving. I am so dying for a cheesburger, but I'm not going to break my diet. I am determined. Instead, I am munching on some no-salt pretzels. They take some getting used to.
I'm having a half a bowl of raviloi for dinner with a banana tonight.

I am so busy at work. It would take paragraphs to explain what I am doing. Suffice it to say that it is tedious detail work on the computer. Well, back to it. More later Maybe...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Nose Knows

I don't know what made me think of this but... Some people's favorite smells are flowers or certain foods or certain perfumes. I know a lady who is nuts about the scent of the Yankee Candles scent "clean cotton". My favorite smells, oddly enough, are chemical. My ten (yes, there are ten) favorite smells in order are:

1) Ozone. I love the smell of welding.
2) Black magic markers- Sharpie King Size are particularly good
3) Dry cleaning fluid- I love the smell inside of a dry cleaners
4) Aerosol brake cleaner or carb cleaner
5) Adhesive/graffitti remover
6) Model airplane glue- regular, not the lemon scented crap
7) Gasoline
8) Fantastik Heavy Duty cleaner
9) Polyeurothane
10) Nail polish remover

Now, don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a huffer. You won't find me in some back alley with my head in a paper sack. These are just the smells that really turn my head. It's probably really strange for someone who likes to be out in nature as much as I do. Maybe these all have some base chemical property in them that gets to me. I don't know. I never took chemistry in school.

Again, I don't know what made me think of it at this point in time. I guesss my mind is wandering.

Good night.

It's Coming

The weather has been very mild here and I have cabin fever. I have been through the Cabela’s and L.L. Bean spring catalogues a hundred times now the last few days. I’m definitely getting my fishing license this weekend before they sell out, and I may go hiking in the Pine Barrens again as well. I can’t wait for bike weather. I know, some people are biking now, but I'm not that hard core and I don't have hundreds to invest in UnderArmour. When I get my income tax refund next week, before I stick it all in the bank, I’m going to go and buy me a decent back pack for hiking and camping. I may get that at Dick’s or Harry’s Sporting Goods. Cabela’s is kind of expensive on back packs, and besides, I don’t want everything I own to be Realtree camouflaged.

Speaking of the Pine Barrens, last night I took an online quiz called “How South Jersey are you?” on Facebook. I scored very high. I got a rating as an “Honorable Son of South Jersey”. I'm from Ohio, folks. I guess I adapt well.

You can tell that spring is on it's way. I'm starting to see more and more dead animals on the roads. I hate to see that. But then I guess without the cars the turkey buzzards and other scavengers would starve to death. I really hate to see a dead fox on the road. They are such beautiful and elusive animals.

I slept well again last night. I could get used to this. I did feel pretty groggy when I got up, but after I got out and ran a few errands, I felt good. I think my new diet is helping. No fast food. Fruit for breakfast. A light sandwich for lunch. Soup and fruit for dinner. Fruit for snacks. Only one soda per day, and that's a Coke Zero- no sugar, no caffine, no calories, no nothing. I'm sure I'll lose weight if I stick to this.

More later...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Right now I am both angry and saddened by yet another lousy sign of the times.

Someone posted a notice on our bulletin board here at work on behalf of a friend. The friend very recently lost their job and their house and has to move the family into an apartment. The posted problem is that they have two three-year-old labs that have been together since birth, and they simply cannot take them with them. They really need to find someone who will take both dogs, which will be as easy as finding a diamond ring at the city dump.

The posting includes a photo of the dogs, and they are truly beautiful animals. I would gladly take them but I can barely afford the two dogs I have now.

The whole thing is heartbreaking, and I'm sure it's not an isolated occurance. It just really sucks big ones that things like this are happening to innocent animals, through no fault of their own or their owners. I feel so helpless...


My head is spinning and my shoulders are all tensed up. I've been working for the last two hours straight on charts and graphs for a presentation that I have to give to my boss tomorrow. I enjoy doing it but it is stress inducing. Every quarter those of us in supervision each have to present and put into action some plan or scheme to save money or be more productive. The first quarter of our new business year begins in April.

My idea has to do with rerouting freight in our warehouse from temporary storage in crates to temporary storage on small motorized trailers. It took me weeks of observing my operation and gathering data to come up with this. I know I'll get resistance from my workers on it because it may slow them down a bit- they will have to spend a little more time separating freight- but it will speed up another part of the operation by double, so it's better for the overall. I just have to make them understand that.

Anyway it is warm here today. In fact it's warmer outside right now that it is in the warehouse. I'm fighting the chills from a constant draft from somewhere right now. I haven't figured out where it's coming from yet.

I slept pretty well last night. I slept even better this morning. It seems like I get my most fitful sleep after 4:00 AM for some reason. It's a mystery to me as to why. I'm just glad to be getting it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A New Poem

In Ten Minutes

In ten minutes your could smoke a cigarette
In ten minutes you could have an orgasm
In ten minutes you could make a sandwich
In ten minutes you could eat that sandwich
You could change a flat bicycle tire
Or the oil in your car’s engine
You could sing ‘Till There Was You,
Rio, and Carmen Ohio in ten minutes
Or you could plant a tray of petunias
You could rock a baby to sleep
You could fall asleep yourself
if you were fairly worn out
In ten minutes you could kill a man
In ten minutes you could say I love you
almost three hundred times

What To Say First?

Well, it was a great weekend. Great times with great friends. The Modest Mouse concert was awesome. They really put on a stunning show. The whole evening on Saturday was a lot of fun. If you want a blow-by-blow, read The Lube Faerie's blog- she did a great job. Here are some highlights though:

a) Really good pizza at some hole-in-the-wall pizza place that was somewhere sort of near South Street. I'm not totally sure because we were kind of lost, even thought we thought we weren't.
b) Despite a long line when we got to the show, we managed to get great seats in the Electric Factory balcony, directly facing the stage. We got bar maid service.
c) Seeing an advertisement stating that The Killers will be in town on May 8th. Yay.
d) The Moudest Mouse show itself was outstanding. They played a lot of great songs and their encore was not too short, not too long. I could have done without the opening acts.
e) Good breakfast food at a diner down the street from the hotel that the PA gang stayed at.
f) I wore out my Chuck Taylors walking around. After all the walking we did and the way my calf muscles were hurting, I felt that it was okay to skip the gym on Sunday.
g) I got really lost on my way home. I somehow ended up in Fairmont Park. Every time I get lost in Philly I end up in Fairmont Park. It was like deja vu all over again. I got home at 4:30 AM.

Obviously, with what time I got home on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I slept in until around 11:30. Then I got up and went to the store for groceries. I had absolutely nothing to eat in the house. The kids cancelled dinner on me, so I napped on the couch and played my guitar a bit. I needed it. Later on I went to the poetry group meeting, which was a good. Everyone had good news as far as being published and winning contests goes. K hosted, and he had extra dark, sugar free chocolate for me. Man was that good. I couldn't thank him enough.

When I got home from the meeting, I talked to my mother on the phone for a while, then went to bed. The funny thing is that I slept really well all weekend, and that was without taking the sleeping pills. Hopefully it's the start of a trend.

Today it's back to the work-a-day world. The weekend was so nice, but as usual, too short. Work is busy tonight and should be all week. Well, here's to it...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday By The Numbers

1. Sleep, sleep. My kingdom for a little nighttime sleep.

2. Tomorrow night I am going to go see Modest Mouse in concert in Philly with DeleteMe, The Lube Faerie, and company. I'm looking very much forward to it. They are one of my favorite bands, and I will get to see them with some of my favorite people.

3. Sunday I have dinner with the kids, followed by a poetry group meeting. And the house is a wreck and the cupboards are bare. It's going to be a full weekend.

4. I now have my spring vacation home slotted for April 4th through the 11th. Billy Boy will definately be back home by then.

5. Speaking of whom, he says now that he may move back to San Diego for the woman he has been dating while he's been out there. She's apparently a well-to-do doctor. Sometimes I don't think he can make up his mind about what he really wants. I wish for him that he would. I want him to be a happy dude.

6. A slow night at work tonight. I only have two of my people in the department tonight. The rest are off working in other departments. It's quiet. I'm going to get some writing done.

7. I may well have to fire one of my temporary employees. I would hate to have to do it, especially in light of the economy, the jobless rate and what's recently happened to my job, but I may well have to do so. Some people just don't listen to reason, then bad things happen to them. It's unfortunate.

8. How is your cursive writing these days? I just read an adrticle that says, thanks to the keyboard, we are getting out of practice and are getting sloppy. The author also believes that the teaching of cursive in our schools should go away, that cursive writing should just go away altogether. Interesting.

9. Everyone have a great, great weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Fan, Continued...

Well, my company reannounced today that they are going to spend $118 million to expand and retool one of our factories because they are speculating on the success of what will be a new market for us. This, a day after giving us all pay cuts, an action touted as a necessary step in insuring liquidity/cash reserves. Months ago they cuts shifts and work days in this same plant. I'm sorry, but it makes no sense to me and is a little aggravating.

I had to schedule my unpaid days off last night. I took almost all Fridays. Might as well try to make the best of it, I figure.

My Restless Legs Syndrome flared up big time last night and I ended up sleeping sitting up on the couch in the living room. I was sleeping with my arm propped up on a throw pillow and my head propped up on my hand. I kept waking up with a numb hand. This all helped to make my mood worse today, not better.

I haven't yet heard from Billy Boy on when he is coming home. I am getting anxious to book my vacation week. I want to get home. I think that my brother's recent hernia surgery and my Dad's prostate surgery on Tuesday have helped to intensified that feeling.

I saw my kidney doctor today and he wants me to have a colonoscopy. Yuck. He thinks that I need it because my test results show great kidney function but increasing anemia, which could mean the presence of a colon polyp. He just wants to rule it out. It won't be cheap. And the thought of the preparation for it- yuck again. I won't go into detail, but- yuck.

I have vegetable beef soup for dinner, but I really don't want it. I think I'll skip it. Besides, I just had "lunch" two hours ago and I'm not really hungry right now. Maybe later.

Well, I'm off to read some blogs...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It Hits The Fan

Well, now I know at least a little bit of how Jennikki was feeling a while ago. My company made an announcement today that directly effects me in a major way. First of all, there will be no cost-of-living raises this year. There will be no annual bonuses this year or next. They are greatly decreasing the amount that the compamy matches in 401k contributions. And here is the real killer: I have to take a pay cut in the form of forced no-pay days off- one per month for the next six months at this point. This equals about a $140 a month pay cut for me. That's my groceries. That's my meds.

I will either have to tighten my belt to a painful degree, or start dipping into what little savings I have to live on. There goes most of my income tax return. So much for playing the good consumer and helping the economy. Those HD TVs that are on sale- I won't be buying one. Or a new computer. Or anything. The stores will not be seeing my smiling face. I'll be lucky to be able to afford food. It's a good thing that gas prices are still reasonable.

Don't get me wrong, I am still greatful to have my job, my benefits, my home, my pets, family and friends. This is a big hit, though. And I worry a lot about what's next. At this point I find myself waiting with anxiety for the other shoe to drop, as they say.

I need a drink.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Custodian

Here is my latest work, a piece of prose for your reading pleasure. Good night, everyone.

The Custodian

I started right after graduation. It was a steady job with good pay and a pension. I looked up the word “custodian” in a dictionary in the school library one night. It means, “the keeper of something valuable”. I liked the sound of that. Made it seem important. The first couple of years I knew everyone, and most of them were decent to me. A couple of them were bastards and would say mean things and would kick my broom when they passed me in the hallways. Every year there are a few bad eggs. The next couple of years it was the younger brothers and sisters of the kids I had gone to school with. Later, a lot of the boys were being sent into the war when they graduated. Not me. Somehow my number never came up. A bunch of those boys didn’t come back alive. Fashions, music and attitudes the kids liked was becoming wild and rebellious, not like when I was a student. Still, they didn’t bother me much. The 70s came and went. We got out of Viet Nam and into the cold war. They started having air raid drills in the school. I thought they were a waste of time. If the Russians hit us with a nuke, we would all be toast no matter what anyway. By then the kids were all strangers to me. The hippies kind of faded away. Then the 80s came. Weird clothes, pointy hair, God-awful music. A lot of the kids were just plain weird. The Ronald Regan era came in. A lot of the kids were the children of my friends and old classmates. By then I was a fixture here. Every kid knew my name, even if I didn’t know theirs. Like in the past, some were mean to me, but most were friendly. They stopped calling me the custodian. It was “janitor” now. The 90s rolled around, and things sort of got better. The economy was good. The kids were wearing flannel shirts and work boots, real guy clothes. I could do without the backwards baseball hats, though. The music was still God-awful, but not as bad as it had been.

Things have changed so much over the years. These kids today, I don’t know any of them, but they have no respect for anyone, especially the teachers. And no sense of responsibility. I doubt they even respect themselves. I think they get it from the parents. I mostly just want them to pull their baggy pants up and tuck in their shirts. I think back over time, and it seems it got worse as time went on. Well, I’m only a year away from retiring and taking on that township pension. I think about moving to Myrtle Beach or Ft. Lauderdale. I try to take it easy. I can’t quite get around like I used to. Sciatica, you know. I like it best when everyone has gone home and I’m alone here. I like to hear the swish of my broom echo in the hallways. I like the stillness in the empty class rooms as I roam with my pail and washing cloth in hand. I don’t feel like the janitor then. Or the custodian. I feel like
the king.


This morning I was just plain lazy. I slept somewhat okay last night, and I woke up around 9:00. I could have gotten up and gone to the gym, or did some things around the house. Instead, I layed around in bed until time to get ready for work- right down to the minute. Lazy I tell you, lazy. Oh well, I guess it's alright every once in a while.

It's gotten a bit cooler here- in the low 50s. I'd like to have our 70 degree weekend weather back for a few more days. It is supposed to get up to 60 the next couple of days, but it will be rainy. Still, it beats the 30s or colder.

I was happy to find out this afternoon that another of my poems got accepted for publication by an on line magazine. That feels very rewarding for me. I haven't written anything in a few days, but I have a couple of new ideas floating around in my head. Maybe tonight.

I had been in the habit of leaving the television on while I was away from the house at work so that the dogs would have some noise to keep them company. My last couple of electric bills convinced me to stop doing this. I wonder now if the dogs care, if they have even noticed. Who knows what they think? They do seem to be a bit less wound up when I get home at night now. Hmm...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Well, We're Back, Aren't We?

Another work week is upon us. My weekend was good and I hope that yours was as well. It was a mixed bag as far as the sleep issue goes. The RLS was raging Friday night- I didn't sleep at all. I take that back. I fell asleep at 8:00 AM and my alarm went off at 9:00. I went to get my taxes done, then went to lunch with my daughter and my ex at a local diner. Can you believe I'm getting a $1,500 return? Sweetness.

On my way home my brother called me. He is doing well recovering from his surgery, although still in a lot of pain. He sounded really good. He is not supposed to be driving for a couple of weeks yet, but he is already driving himself to dialysis. He's a stubborn pain in the ass, but I love him. When I got home, around 3:00, I sat down to watch the news. I fell asleep and when I woke up it was 10:45 PM! I was really wiped out! I watched some more news after that and went to bed and read for a while. I slept great Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning feeling good.

On Sunday I went to the music store and picked up a new tube for my guitar amplifier. Then I went home and installed it. It worked partially. Bobby, I'll be emailing you about this. Afterwords, it was so warm I went out and washed my car and got all of the nasty road salt off of it. Then I took it down to one of those coin operated car washes and vaccumed it out really well. It's true that a clean car runs better. After that I went to the ex's for the usual Sunday dinner with her and the kids. we had a nice time.

One unfortunate thing happened this weekend. As you may remember, I was supposed to take a trip home next week to visit the family. That is not going to happen now. I talked to Billy Boy on the phone on Saturday, and he is not coming home until the end of that week at least, so I'm going to have to cancel and reschedule the visit. I had talked to my son about maybe house sitting for me, but he can't. He lives near Philly now, and although he works right near my house, his girlfriend works in philly. He has to take her to the train station every morning, so that would not work out. I'm bummed about it and my family is, too, but I can do nothing about it but reschedule once I know for sure when Bill is coming back. I hope to know by mid week.

Well, back to the salt mines. Everyone have a great Monday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bon Voyage, Amigo

I found out this afternoon that a friend and former co-worker died of a heart attack last night. He was 49. You just never know. Death does not discriminate in any way.

Obviously, this is very sad news. Clyde and I had the kind of relationship where we could always make each other laugh, sometimes just by simply looking at each other, and often at inappropriate times. We often got scolded or were shot dirty looks for cracking up during business meetings over some silly thing. Clyde made this a fun place to work. We haven't had that in a while now. I have been sitting here feeling bad, but at the same time almost laughing out loud thinking of times that we had together.

One of the very best was our shared, two week business trip to Japan a number of years ago. I remember, among other things, us both being amazed at being able to buy cans of beer from vending machines in the streets of Tokyo and Sagimahara. We bought quite a few, even though the Japanese beer had a sort of formaldehyde aftertaste and gave us headaches. That was a unique trip that holds a number of good memories.

I haven't seen Clyde in probably six years, although he would email me and my co-corkers jokes and things from time to time. He had apparently been having chest pains for a week and didn't go to the doctor. Take care of yourselves.

Good bye, old friend. Rest well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Third Month

The winter hangs on me like an old coat
on a scarecrow in the corn field.
The snow is filthy. It lies in piles,
looks like a mixture of sugar and dirt.
The song birds are still away,
but the geese are ready to lay.
I am tired of my winter clothes. I want
to shed them the way that a garden snake
sheds its old, dried out skin.
I am tired of feeling the cold, the drafts.
I want to open doors and windows
and not have them be there to sting me.
I am tired of gray skies and drab clouds.
I want them clean and clear and azure.

If only I knew magic or voodoo
and were able to summon the seasons,
I would call upon the spring, call
for a rush of warm winds
and cumulous clouds, with a vivid sun
to break through and beam.
I would stretch out on the grass and bathe
in the light and the warmth all day,
nap, think, day dream, listen
to the song of the warblers and finches,
the mocking birds and the cardinals
and simply let my mind wander away.

It is March now, and I am more than ready.


One of the ladies who got laid off recently here is a secretary in the front offices. She has worked here for probably twenty years. March 31st is her last day here. Today I saw that she has posted on the lunch room bulletin board items for sale: a large television set, a DVD player, a stereo, an entertainment center. That's really bad when you feel like you have to sell off the family TV. I feel so sorry for her. Bobby is right. There may well be people around you that really have it hard right now, and you may not even know it. Reach out...
I'm feeling better about things today, and I'm not wallowing in self pity, so I guess I'm alright. Although I have felt better mentally. I'm not in a very good mood and wasn't yesterday either. I was a bit short with some of my employees on a couple of things and I know now that I didn't have to be. I'm trying to get out of it tonight.

And I slept pretty decent last night. I've been staying up to read at night until I feel sleepy, and I'm finding that helps. The last two nights I was reading Pluto, Animal Lover, an excellent book by Laren Stover. It's a short book and a great read. It's got suspense and dark humor and a very twisted main character. I recommend it hight if you like that kind of book. Last night I started reading An Unquiet Mind. If you haven't heard about it berfore, it's basically the memoir of a doctor of psychiatry who also happens to be acutely bipolar. It is very eye opening so far.

Well, things are supposed to warm up here over the next few days, and I hope that's the start of a long trend. I'm tired of cold weather and being cold. I'm tired of my winter clothes. I'm tired of having to bundle up in bed and the cold tile floors in the bathroom and kitchen in the mornings. I'm more than ready for the spring to be here.

Tonight at dinner time I have the chore of adding up all of my medical and medicine receipts from last year to see if they total enough for any kind of a tax deduction. What fun. I also have to work late tonight. I won't be getting out of here until 1:30 AM, and it will probably be close to 3:00 AM before I get home. I guess I'll be sleeping in late tomorrow morning.

Well I'm off now to read your blogs and get some work done. More later...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oh, My Heart

Some of you may recall me writing about Wendy before in my JS journal. Wendy is a lady, a close friend, whom I have known for a long time and have worked with on and off for a long time. I fell pretty hard for her a couple of years ago. It is unrequited, and I still carry a torch for her.

This afternoon she told me that she got married to her currrent boyfriend last night. It was unexpected and a shock. I'm still in shock now. And I feel, what's the right word, "beat"? Yeah, beat. And it stings. And my stupid heart hurts- physically hurts.

I'm sure I'll get over it in time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sleep And Trips And Taxes

I feel like I should change the name of this blog to something like "Psychotic Insomniac" or "Trail Of Ambien". It seems like I spend too much time focusing on my sleep issues here. So, let me say very briefly that for some unknown reason, I slept well last night.

I am really looking forward to taking my week's vacation this month and getting home to see my family, but it all hinges on one thing- Billy Boy getting back here from San Diego so that I have someone to watch the dogs. If he doesn't come back in time, I can't go. I'll have to put it off. It will be harder for me to get the approval for the time in April or May. He has said in emails that he is "working on getting back". That's kind of sketchy. He is also shacked up out there with this doctor who is paying his way for him. They are dating, according to him. Well, I'll just have to wait and see. I could in theory take the dogs with me to Ohio, but that would be a very long ride in that little car for them, and my parent's have a "no pets in the house" rule. I wouldn't leave the boys outside. They aren't used to it and, well, I just wouldn't do it.

I am going with the wife to get our taxes done this weekend. Yes, we are still filing jointly. By doing that and claiming zero all year, we get a nice fat return from both the state and federal to split. We go to a place in Philly that does a very good job, but the wait, even with an appointment is like an hour. I really hate that part. It's a small waiting room with very few seats and it's always crowded. I always end up standing up. I'm going to bank my half of the return. There is nothing I need to go out and buy at this point. I'm not going to go and splurge on anything. I want to save the cash for another trip home in the fall.

Well, back to the paperwork for now. I'll read everyone's blogs in a while.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Well, the weekend was good except for being wide awake nightly between 2:00 and 5:00 AM. I have taken to sitting on the couch watching the news until I fall asleep again, but I always wake back up about 7:00. I don't know why the Ambien are no longer working for me.

Saturday was a pretty productive day. I ran some errands, went to the gym, paid my bills, cleaned the house and did laundry. I took a couple of short naps in between there somewhere.

The reading yesterday was good. There was a nice, small crowd there. The lady who hosts the series was impressed enough that she asked us to come back and read again in April. I don't know why, but I was a bit nervous reading this time. It's silly, really. I have done this at least eight times a year for the last five years, and I get up in front of people and speak every day at work, so I don't know why I was nervous. I shouldn't have been at all. Still, I was told that I read well, so I guess I was okay.

My brother came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon. My mother said he was in a lot of pain in his abdomen from the surgery, and looked a bit yellow, but was otherwise alright. I'm glad for that. I heard thought that at about the same time, my nephew was in the hospital with bad abdominal pains. He's over it now and there was apparently no concensus on what it was. One doctor thought kidney stones, another thought a back issue. I'd bet on food poisoning. I've never heard of a back injury causing a person to double over with stomach pains, and if it was stones he would still be in pain, especially if and when he passed them.

Well, I'd better go for now. We are having major systems problems at work right now. Printers and CRTs are going down by the handful. Something is not right in the network. Damned Hal. More later maybe...